How to Fix: 'BOOTMGR is Missing' when Cloning HD to SSD

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Pam C. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I recently purchased an SSD (solid state hard drive) and wish to transfer my existing copy of Windows (from a standard hard drive) onto the SSD. I used Acronis True Image to clone the hard drive to SSD, but when I try and boot from the SSD, I receive the error message that 'BOOTMGR is Missing'. I have also tried creating an archive backup of the original hard drive and then restored that to the SSD, but I have the same problem. How can I fix the 'BOOTMGR is Missing' error? "

My response:

This is a very common problem and affects both SSDs and hard drives equally the same whenever one drive is copied to another. The easiest way to fix the "BOOTMGR is Missing" error is to insert your Windows DVD or USB install media, then launch the 'repair' utility and have it scan your new SSD (or new hard drive) for startup errors. It should then automatically detect the problem and fix the master boot record (MBR) accordingly.

Here are the steps:

  1. Shut down and power off the computer; open up the case and then unplug all hard drives except for the new SSD (or new hard drive).
     
  2. Turn on the computer and insert your Windows DVD or USB install media. If you don't have Windows install media, you can download it online for free from Microsoft, though there are some restrictions.
     
  3. OPTIONAL: you may need to enter the computer's BIOS to change the boot sequence such that your DVD or USB drive will boot before the SSD (or hard drive), otherwise you will not be able to boot from the Windows install media in order to fix the 'BOOTMGR is Missing' error.
     
  4. Once the computer has been turned on and assuming you have adjusted your boot sequence properly, it should now start to boot from the Windows install media. You should see a message appear to "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD (or USB) ..." Do exactly that, and the Windows install media should start booting.
     
  5. Shortly after, the main Windows install screen should appear. You will two options: one will be to "Install now", and directly underneath that will be a smaller options which reads "Repair your computer". Click the latter option to repair your computer.
     
  6. A new window will appear with the title "System Recovery Options". Choose the hard drive partition with your installation of Windows (usually the C drive), and click Next.
     
  7. The "Startup Recovery Options" window will appear. Click the link which says "Startup repair" / Automatically fix problems that are preventing Windows from starting.
     
  8. Windows will scan your new SSD (or new hard drive) and automatically detect that the boot sector has been damaged or is missing and will apply the appropriate fixes.
     
  9. When the process is finished, Windows will report that it made some fixes to the drive. To test the fix, eject the Windows install media and reboot your computer. Your new SSD or hard drive should now boot into Windows.

Note: if your new SSD boots but then either reboots in a continuous loop or if you receive an error screen, you may need to adjust the SATA controller setting on the main board to AHCI or RAID (which may also require you to reinstall Windows from scratch). In that case you will need to transfer your data over from the original hard drive manually onto the new one, rather than attempting to clone it. If you require help with that you can contact me and I will connect with you over remote desktop support.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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Comments

swreynolds's picture

The simple answer to the "Bootmgr is Missing" problem is not to use Acronis. It often fails at cloning drives. Even (gasp) EaseUS' Todo Backup does a better job of cloning.
And there is never a need to reclone the drive after switching to AHCI or RAID. The data hasn't changed, only the way the operating system addresses it. Linux doesn't care if you change but Windows is too stupid to adjust to the change (why I don't know, since it has the drivers).

robfre19_'s picture

I had a similar problem.
I made an image (using Arcronis True Image) of my SSD main disk (Windows 7) and restored it into an identical size SSD.
I didn't unplug my HDs with several partitions (Data, Programs, Buffer, etc.)
I resolved the booting issue running EasyBSD, installed in my Programs HD.
It was a "piece of cake", simple adding a new HD boot.
Now I can use any of those whenever I want.

pensguy's picture

I used Acronis True Image for years without a problem. But ever since Windows 8,8.1 and 10, I and a friend have had nothing but problems.
I switched to the Free AOMEI BACKER UPPER which has performed flawlessly. It has all the capabilities that the average user needs and is extremely simple to use. You may find it useful too.